To mark National Care Leavers Week 2023, Essex County Councils’ Entry to Work Team hosted their annual Career Insight Day for Care Leavers.
ECC has been a member of the Care Leaver Covenant, however, has more recently become a Care Leaver Friendly Employer, as we support Care Leavers during the Recruitment, Tracking and Development stages of their careers. We offer a job Interview Scheme for individuals who identify as a Care Leaver – meaning that individuals are guaranteed an interview provided the baseline criteria is met.
This Career Insight Day was designed to provide care leavers with valuable insights, guidance, and support as they embarked on their journey into the professional world. The main objective was to shed light on the many career pathways available within ECC and to equip attendees with techniques to overcome the obstacles often encountered on the path to employment.
“I really enjoyed the speeches from everyone, it helps me to know important information and it let me know where to go if I need support.”
The event hosted a series of engaging and informative talks from key note speakers, each bringing a unique perspective to the table. Notable speakers included Melissa Jiggins from Children and Families who discussed ECC’s Co-Parenting strategy and The Essex Pledge, which focuses on supporting children in care and care leavers. Glenn Crickmore from Essex Youth Services joined the event to talk about the career development opportunities within the Youth Services area and a motivating speech from Anya Pretty, a care leaver herself, who has secured employment with ECC as a Junior Project Support Officer.
Clare Perrett and Ken Muteweri delivered a dynamic and interactive presentation into the world of Procurement including the entry routes and career progression available within the team. Attendees participated in a trading game, buying and selling shapes which represented services provided to Essex Residents. The winning team were not only awarded the coveted title of ‘Best Trading Team’ but also won a prize.
Another important theme of the day was building resilience and personal development where Siobhan Goss from Matrix took the stage to address the often hindering issue of imposter syndrome and provide strategies to build resilience. The goal was to boost the attendees’ confidence and help them navigate the challenges they might encounter in both professional and personal life. Siobhan’s presentation included the ‘Resilience Tree’ and ‘I’m Unique,’ fostering self-discovery, growth, and engagement.
Participants weren’t just passive listeners; they actively engaged in the learning process. They took part in an online assessment designed to identify their unique strengths and areas where they faced challenges. This exercise aimed to help them discover career opportunities that resonated with their natural talents.
The Career Insight Day was an inspiring and empowering event, providing valuable insights and guidance for care leavers in Essex. It opened doors to the vast array of career possibilities within ECC and equipped attendees with tools to overcome the hurdles that might lie ahead, proving that with the right resources, anyone can achieve their professional dreams.